Gutters are the backbone of a home’s moisture management system. By funneling away the water your roof shrugs off, they ensure it drains at a safe distance from your foundation, greatly minimizing your chances of household water damage. 

So when it comes time to get new ones, it’s a big decision! 

Gutters come in three primary materials, all of which we at Intelligent Design Corporation stock: Aluminum, steel, and copper. While no one is inherently better than another, each of them have their own strengths. 

To help you make the right decision for your home, our team of gutter installers discusses them below.

Aluminum Gutters

Far from the fragile stuff that you associate with soda cans, aluminum gutters are built to perform—they wouldn’t be a viable gutter option if not! They are incredibly affordable and quick to install, making them a great pick for the homeowner who needs their gutter installation done fast. 

As a bonus, they come in a variety of different colors, meaning you can get as subtle or dramatic as you like with your new home remodeling opportunity. 

You also won’t need to worry much about rust with this material; aluminum is resistant—though not immune. You’ll still have gutter maintenance to do to prevent corrosion, but said maintenance will be minimal.


●        Aluminum gutters are coated with an enamel which can come in different colors, so you can match your gutters to the rest of your house.

●        They are lightweight and easier to install.

●        They are cost effective.

●        Aluminum is a dependable material and option for gutters.

●        Can resist thinning due to heavy weather.

●        Can be customized onsite to fit seamlessly to your home.


●        Aluminum can rust faster than alternatives such as copper. You must care for the enamel layer to prevent rusting.

●        Extreme, high temperatures can damage aluminum gutters.

●        Quickly changing temperatures can also damage aluminum.

●        It can be dented, and larger dents can affect performance.

●        May have to repaint enamel to prevent rusting.

●        Are more likely to break from extreme weather, such as snow, ice, and wind.

●        More likely to leak around the joints.

Steel Gutters

If you’re looking for raw strength in a gutter system, steel provides. Supremely durable, it stands up to severe weather like nothing else, which makes it a great fit for Minnesotan homes and businesses. 

This gutter type can also come in seamless varieties—where the number of interlocking joints is minimized in favor of leak and clog resistance. 

Though seamless gutters can cost a bit more than their sectional counterparts, the reduction in typical gutter struggles is well worth the investment. If you decide to go with steel gutters, you’ll have to commit financially to the maintenance of your gutter system.


●        Least expensive gutter option.

●        Have several types of coatings to prevent rust.

●        Very durable– has a coating of zinc to help withstand weather.

●        Sustain less damage from rain and other weather conditions.

●        Can be made from recycled materials.


●        Can sag over time due to loose connections with the house.

●        Periodic gutter inspections are required to maintain its connection to the house.

●        Can still eventually rust over time.

●        Are less flexible than other options and are more difficult to work with.

Copper Gutters

For those who want a bit of pizazz with their gutter upgrade, copper gutters might be perfect for you. Not only do they have a flashy look to them, but they also go great with the equally-flashy cedar roofing, which doesn’t always play nicely with aluminum or steel gutters.

On top of all that, this gutter material is one of the most long-lasting ones out there. According to Bob Vila, they can last up to 50 years with proper maintenance!


●        Copper does not rust as quickly as aluminum.

●        Adds a beautiful finish to your home.

●        Can be tailor-made to fit your home.

●        Are less expensive to maintain.

●        Very durable.


●        Copper gutters cost a lot more than other options because all the fasteners, nails, and fittings must also be copper, to avoid corrosion.

●        Copper is more difficult to work with than aluminum.

●        Requires soldering at joints.

Intelligent Design Corporation: Gutters, Simplified

No matter the type of gutter installation you need, our downspout installation pros can fix one up for you in a jiffy. Reach our Maple Grove office today at 763-315-0745.